Year-End File Cleanup

Over the last several weeks I’ve been receiving many requests to update some broken links on my blog. As you may remember, the EPN Blog morphed from the El Paso News Blog after some Russian hackers crashed my site in 2017. The change in the domain name caused many links to break. Fixing the broken… Read More Year-End File Cleanup

It’s the Emails Dummy

During the controversy over the El Paso ballpark there were many rumors about impropriety. Many were true and others were wrong. One of the longest running controversies involved the improper election interference benefiting Steve Ortega’s run for mayor. Ortega lost. However, the election subterfuge with the bond monies for the ballpark cost the taxpayers of… Read More It’s the Emails Dummy

Documents Detailing Oscar Leeser and Ann Morgan Lilly Tiff at Thyme Matters

As most of you know, on December 20, 2016, there was an altercation between Oscar Leeser and Ann Morgan Lilly at Thyme Matters. A police report was filed and an investigation ensued. There was no prosecution of E.R. “Rut” Lilly because the District Attorney, Jaime Esparza, determined that there was insufficient evidence to proceed. The… Read More Documents Detailing Oscar Leeser and Ann Morgan Lilly Tiff at Thyme Matters

Texas Attorney General Exempts Friends from Freedom of Information

Veronica Escobar argued to the Texas Attorney General that her years-long friendship with Susie Byrd is reason sufficient to exclude her from the Texas Public Information Act – and the Texas AG bought into that argument. That is the essence of Escobar’s reasons for not releasing the public information records about El Paso Police Chief… Read More Texas Attorney General Exempts Friends from Freedom of Information

Attorney General of Texas Orders County Attorney to Release Records

Yesterday I received a response to the complaint I filed with the Texas Attorney General’s office where I complained that Veronica Escobar unilaterally decided that she could decide what documents were public records and which ones were not. As you might remember, on August 3, 2016, I posted a blog explaining how Veronica Escobar appointed… Read More Attorney General of Texas Orders County Attorney to Release Records

Jim Tolbert and the Art of Hypocrisy About Transparency

During city council’s discussion (item 33.1) last week about Cortney Niland asking that the city rescind its prohibition of electronic devices at the city dais during city council meetings, there was another elected official whose government transparency notions need to be scrutinized. As you know, Niland has told you that she will not follow the… Read More Jim Tolbert and the Art of Hypocrisy About Transparency

I Need Your Help to Force Veronica Escobar to Release Public Records

As you all likely know, last week I revealed to you how Veronica Escobar has unilaterally decided that any emails, text messages or any other communications on her private devices regarding the letter to repudiate El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen are not public information. Some of you may have seen the August 4 coverage… Read More I Need Your Help to Force Veronica Escobar to Release Public Records

Veronica Escobar Decides That She is the Only Qualified Person to Determine Whether Her Email is Subject to Open Records

Yesterday I gave you an example of how an email between two elected officials; actually Donald Trump has not been elected yet, but roll with me, and pretend that he has. As you likely surmised by now, Veronica Escobar is the elected official that has decided that she is the only judge of what is… Read More Veronica Escobar Decides That She is the Only Qualified Person to Determine Whether Her Email is Subject to Open Records

I Believe That the City of El Paso Criminally Violated the Texas Public Information Act

Open records laws are supposed to be about unhindered access to government records. They are supposed to empower the citizenry to hold their elected officials accountable to them. Accessing government records should not require anyone to look for a needle in a haystack without a magnet. My experience with the City of El Paso has… Read More I Believe That the City of El Paso Criminally Violated the Texas Public Information Act

Mexican Political Intrigue as Defined by Hackers and Off-Shore Accounts

In the last two weeks, two computer system hacks that dumped private data on the web has put an uncomfortable light on Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto. Most individuals that I speak to usually have the misconception that Mexico is a little sleepy siesta country where beaches and Tequila go hand in hand. Obviously, corruption,… Read More Mexican Political Intrigue as Defined by Hackers and Off-Shore Accounts

Someone is Clearly Lying

As you likely know by now, Larry Romero submitted written responses to the Ross Fisher questionnaire on March 15, 2016. As with all controversies, it comes down to who is telling the truth. After reviewing Romero’s answers I looked to see what information, if any, I could independently verify. Official business should generate supporting documentation… Read More Someone is Clearly Lying

The Nominating Process for El Paso Children’s Board Appointments

On November 30, 2015, the University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) issued a press release where it stated that UMC had nominated four individuals to the reconstituted children’s hospital board. They are: Ronald Acton, Miguel Fernandez, Patrick Gordon and Ted Houghton. Additionally, the press release listed: Jaime Barceleau, Gilberto Moreno, Jr., and Lynn Coyle… Read More The Nominating Process for El Paso Children’s Board Appointments

Open Records Show Reasons for the Termination of Steve Norwood

On October 9, 2015, I submitted an open records request to the county commissioners asking for communications and documents in regards to Steve Norwood’s termination as the county’s first County Administrator. A frequent reader that wishes to remain anonymous had suggested that I submit the request. On Monday, November 3, 2015, I received about 130… Read More Open Records Show Reasons for the Termination of Steve Norwood

Emma Acosta Wants City Representatives to Pay More for Open Records Requests

Tomorrow’s city council agenda has an interesting agenda item up for discussion. In item 18.1, Emma Acosta is asking to have a “discussion and action to initiate policy/ordinance that any Open Records Request (ORR) by a City Representative, all such request(s) must be paid for and that the use of staff time spent in hours… Read More Emma Acosta Wants City Representatives to Pay More for Open Records Requests

Texas Supreme Court Declines to Review Townsend Allala Case

Yesterday, Stephanie Townsend Allala sent out a news release advising that the Texas Supreme Court denied her petition to review her open records case. On August 1, 2014, the Texas Court of Appeals of the Third District rendered a judgment refusing to give Stephanie Townsend Allala the opportunity to determine whether the City had, in… Read More Texas Supreme Court Declines to Review Townsend Allala Case

Attorney, Former Television and Radio Personalities Provide Consulting for Politicians

Last week I received a tip from a reader that wishes to remain anonymous. The reader shared with me information about a new consulting group offering consulting services to political candidates. According to the reader, Hector Montes and Stephanie Townsend Allala are providing consulting services to some candidates in the upcoming election in May. The… Read More Attorney, Former Television and Radio Personalities Provide Consulting for Politicians

Hillary Clinton: A political culture of elitism

The latest developing political scandal involving a potential presidential candidate clearly reveals that the United States has lost its right to call itself a bastion of Democracy. As an outsider, I have witnessed the notion of “exceptionalism” from the United States. I continuously questioned how that notion has been allowed to perpetuate itself across the… Read More Hillary Clinton: A political culture of elitism

City Incompetence on Display with San Jacinto

The ongoing bathroom debacle at the San Jacinto Park clearly demonstrates a dysfunctional El Paso city government. As if the fact that restrooms aren’t important enough for the focal point of the much-touted downtown revitalization project the excuses after excuses mounted by the dysfunctional city council betrays the utter stupidity that drives city government. The… Read More City Incompetence on Display with San Jacinto

Holding Government Accountable Is Impossible

The problem with holding government accountable is the games government plays to delay or impede accountability. Constituents can ask questions or demand accountability but the politicians game the system in order to keep the shenanigans in play. The understanding is that government is accountable and transparent while the reality is another thing altogether. This is… Read More Holding Government Accountable Is Impossible

The Torture Report

The US government released the long-delayed report on the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Because of the importance to public discourse that this report will create, I believe it is important to make it available to the community as quickly as possible. Those who are interested in reading it can download it here. Please keep… Read More The Torture Report